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Richard William Hayton was born on the 8th November 1897, in all likelihood at 8 Halton Terrace Glenridding where his parents John George and Mary were living. Richard’s father was a miner at Greenside mine, and Richard attended Patterdale School and by 1911 was still living in Halton Terrace along with his parents and younger brother George and sister Hilda. At the time the industrious 13 year old Richard was described as being still at School, as well as a “bootshop errand boy”. By the time war broke out he had followed his fathers footsteps and was working at Greenside mine.
He enlisted with the Army reserve in December 1915, just a month after his 18th birthday, possibly at the same time as local lads Ernest Lake and George Cooper, who also joined up in December 1915. It is likely he remained on the reserve list until 1917 when he was mobilised into the regular army, joining the 3rd Battalion of the Border Regiment in September 1917.
On the 31st January 1918 he embarked to France, and on the 1st February 1918 he joined the 8th Battalion of the Border Regiment. Tragically he died just 7 weeks later on 23rd March 1917 during the German Spring offensive which claimed so many of the Patterdale fallen. Details of his death were sent to his mother (now living in Penrith following the death of his father in April 1916) by a fellow soldier who had been at his side when he died.
“the battalion went to retake a position from the Germans which the latter had captured in the morning. (We) were called back by the captain, and stood in (our) own trench where (we) fought the Germans. Private Hayton and (I) were Lewis gunners and were side by side, when (he) was hit. (I) went to his assistance, but he never spoke”
Richard is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, one of 35,000 servicemen who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918 who have no known grave. He is commemorated on the Patterdale War memorial and the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour. We think Richard’s cousin Agnes lived in Halton Terrace until her death in 1963, and another cousin Mary Jane died in Penrith in Feb 1965 and is buried at Patterdale. Richard’s two younger brothers, Thomas Henry and George Harold, had died in infancy in 1900 and 1905 respectively. We are unsure what became of his mother Mary or sister Hilda Jane. If you know anything about them please let us know.
For more information on Richard please visit the Patterdale Today History website.
Private Richard William Hayton
35087, 8th Battalion, Border Regiment
Born 8th November 1897 Glenridding. Died 23rd March 1918 Aged 20 in Arras, France.
Son of John George and Mary (nee Harris) Hayton, Halton Terrace, Glenridding and Newlands Terrace Penrith
The Arras Memorial
Richard’s Death as reported in the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 13th April 1918. In the same edition Fred Kirkland from Glenridding’s Obituary was also published, having just died 10 days later